The Department of Energy released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.

Here are some highlights:

Crude oil inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels to a total of 346.4 million barrels. At 346.4 million barrels, inventories are 4.8 million barrels above last year (1.4%) and are now slightly above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 1.2 million barrels to 38.6 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 3.6 million barrels to 234.7 million barrels. At 234.7 million barrels, inventories are now 2.8 million barrels, or 1.2% higher than last year (last week that number was unavailable). The only increases in gasoline inventories occurred in the Rockies (+0.1mb). Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-0.9mb), Midwest (-0.3mb), Gulf Coast (-1.0mb), and West Coast (-1.5mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 0.8 million barrels to a total of 159.2 million barrels. At 159.2 million barrels, inventories are now 4.9% higher than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 0.3% over the last four weeks (last week the number was unavailable). Distillate inventories are now 7.4 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 80.9%, a rise of 1.5% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.2 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, an increase over the prior week.

Refineries in the Rockies operated at the highest utilization- some 89.6% of capacity. Refiners in the Midwest came in second at 88.6% while refiners on the Gulf Coast came in third with 81.0%. East Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants last week (just barely), edging out the West Coast. West Coast plants ran at 77.0% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 65.3% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- decreased 6,000bpd to 882,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are now up 4.5 million barrels (0.4%) over last year and stand at 1.0511 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).